Supreme intelligence is to have no illusions
K School Discussion, Brockwood Park
October 16, 1983
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk about?
Questioner: I think during the last talks we have talked about the question of intelligence, a bit we have touched it, and how to bring intelligence to our life so that somehow intelligence operates in our life. And I wonder if we could pursue that.
K: Right. Any other questions?
Q: When and why will a human being genuinely ask what is intelligence? Related to his question.
K: Why do we ask
Q: And when.
K: When do we ask what is intelligence.
Q: Genuinely ask.
K: Yes. Any other questions?
Q: I wonder, what is the morning meeting for?
K: Good lord! (Laughter) Any other?
Q: Why do you give these talks?
K: Why do you give talks.
Q: Yes. (Laughter)
K: Would you like me to shut up? (Laughter)
Q: No. What is the purpose, if you have any purpose for giving these talks?
K: Why do I talk? I really - no, I mustn't go into... (Laughter) Is that all?
Q: How do you know all the things that you are speaking about?
Q: How do you know when you are becoming intelligent?
K: Yes - how do you know all that you are talking about. Not from books, not from other people. The ancient books, or the modern books, modern philosophy and so on. I'll explain all this a little later as we go along. May I? Any other questions?
Q: How do you know when you start beginning to get intelligence, start becoming intelligent?
K: How do you know what intelligence is.
Q: No, in yourself when you start to become more intelligent.
Q: How can you tell you are becoming intelligent.
K: We will find out presently. We were driving the other day, nearly two weeks ago, along the Pacific coast of California. It was a lovely morning. It had rained, and generally in California it doesn't rain that part of the year, and it was a really lovely morning. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. And the Pacific was blue, light blue, so calm, like a great lake. It was not the same dark blue of the Mediterranean but it was a light blue, and the sun was just touching it, making a great light on the sea. And in front of our car - Mrs Zimbalist was driving - and it was a good car, and on the bumper there was a sticker. The sticker said, 'Question authority'. So we are going to question authority this morning. (Laughter) And in questioning authority we are going to find out for ourselves, in the understanding of the very complex problem of authority, we'll begin to see what is, for ourselves, what is intelligence. Why we follow, why we accept, why we obey, whether authority and the acceptance of authority leads to intelligence. We are going to talk it over together. Right? Right.
Do you question authority? You know what that word means? We won't go into the root meaning of that word, the etymological meaning, but authority. There are various kinds of authority. Right? The authority of the government, however rotten that government is, the authority of totalitarian governments, the authority of the policeman, the authority of a lawyer, the authority of a judge, the authority of the pope, the authority of a priest. Right? All those are outside, outside the skin. But inwardly, inside the skin, there is the authority of experience, of one's own experience, one's own convictions. Right? Are you following all this? Authority of one's own opinions, authority of one's own convictions - I am convinced I am a great man - that becomes the authority. I am convinced I am a good poet, whereas I may be a rotten poet but I am convinced. I am convinced about so many things. So experience, knowledge become one of the sources of authority. Right? Are you following? Because we are examining a very complex problem, the problem of authority. The authority of the parents, the authority of tradition, the authority of the majority of the voters. Right? The authority of the specialist, the authority of the scientist - there are several of them here - the authority of the Bible and the Indian so-called sacred books, (inaudible) and so on - the Koran; you know what the Koran is, the Bible of the Islam, of Islamic world, the Mohammedan world - they accept that completely, obey. So there are many, many forms of authority. Right?
Now, what do you question, when you question authority what are you questioning? The authority of rules, the authority of those educators who tell you, inform you? Now, please discuss this with me, because in enquiring very carefully step by step, I'm going deeper and deeper into this question, you will yourself begin to awaken your own intelligence. You understand? Your own perception, your own how to look at things intelligently, without authority. Is this clear? Have I made my statement clear? You are clear?
K: Good! Are you quite sure? The authority that exists outside of us - law, governments, the majority of people who vote for a prime minister, the authority of the policeman, the authority of a lawyer, the authority of a surgeon, the scientists who are building the nuclear bomb, the authority of the totalitarian states and so on and on - outside. Inside of us, I say, 'I know', that becomes the authority. Or I am convinced, I am quite sure my opinion is correct. I am quite sure my experience tells me what to do. That becomes the authority. Or I practise a certain discipline and that has become my authority. You understand? So, we are going to question all this. The outer and the inner; the environment and the psychological realm. Clear? Now, let's proceed.
We are going to question, not say it is right or wrong, but enquire, question, doubt, ask. Now let's begin. The authority of the policeman. Right? Do you question that?
Q: Isn’t it necessary?
K: But question it first. Don't accept, don't say it is necessary. You see you have already accepted authority.
Q: Yes. Yes, but there’s not very much that we can do about it.
K: No, you can't do anything about it.
Q: We don’t want that kind of authority. You can’t
K: You don't want that kind of authority? Suppose I have been driving in France on the right side of the road, and I come here, I am used to driving a car on the right side of the road in France, in Austria and so on, and I come here and I keep to that side. Right? To the right side, and I'll there will be accidents. Right? So I must the policeman says, 'Hey, get back, go over to the left'. But if I insist on keeping to the right he will give me a ticket. So I accept the authority of a policeman who tells me, 'You are driving in the wrong lane, please kindly go to the left', because that is the custom, that is the law in this country. Right?
Q: That’s quite sensible.
K: That's quite sensible - it is. Now, then the authority of governments. This is much more complex. The authority of the government says, you must become a soldier. In Europe you have to become a soldier for two years; fortunately not for women. In Switzerland, in France, in all the European countries, you have for two years you have to be a soldier. Do you accept that authority?
Q: If you don’t, is there anything
K: No, just think it out, look at it carefully. They say, 'We have to protect our country'. Right? In case of war we are prepared to fight the enemy. Have you ever heard of that phrase, a General says, 'We have met the enemy, it is us'. Have you heard of that phrase? Have you understood that phrase? We have met the enemy, it's us. We are the enemy to ourselves. Sorry! So find out. The government says - all governments, the most inefficient government also says, 'You must fight for the country'. There is a tremendous authority. Right? What's your response to that?
Q: If I was in that situation, and I was, say, a Swiss citizen, and I am asked to join the army, I wouldn’t do it.
K: Then you would go to prison.
Q: No, I’d go to another country.
K: (Laughs) They won't let you.
Q: Well, there are ways.
K: Oh, yes. But you can never go back to your country again.
K: I know several people who have done this. But they can never can back to their own country. Is that the answer? Question, question what you are saying.
Q: Perhaps to some degree it is.
K: I said question, sir. Question what you will do when governments says you must become - you are conscripted, drafted, as they use the word in America - drafted - here the word is conscripted, and you are asked to join the army. That is supreme authority. Do you question that?
Q: By question, do you mean where authority comes from?
K: No. The government says you must.
Q: OK, what exactly do you mean by question?
K: I mean by question, we are questioning authority - you understand?
Q: It’s not clear, I don’t understand.
K: I've explained, sir, haven't I, haven't we? I told you the sticker in California, it said, 'Question authority'. That means do you accept authority. Where do you accept authority, where do you disregard authority? Right? Now, the government says to you, as you are a young man, or going to be when you are 18, 19, 20, says you must become a soldier for two years. And they give you other alternatives, which are rather boring; or when there is a war all the people, grown up boys and young men are conscripted. There is that authority of the government. Do you question that authority.
Q: Yes, but what can you do about it?
K: You are going to find out. We are going to find out. But first question, is that what you will do when somebody, government, asks you to become a soldier? This is a very complex problem this, I don't know if you can go into this. They say, 'We must protect our country'. Right? Right? So you have to question, what is our country?
Q: It’s all that we know around us, our language...
K: Which means what?
Q: That which we are familiar with.
K: Take for instance, England says to you, the British government says to you, we are going to be attacked by somebody, and you must train yourself, carry a gun and all the rest of it, and fight. Now what's your response? Poor chaps!
Q: You probably wouldn’t want to.
K: Probably you don't want to. Then they either, if you are in Russia, or in other countries, they shoot you. Or they say, if you don't want to, what is your reason?
Q: You don’t want to kill another man. You don’t want to kill another human being.
K: So is that your conviction?
Q: No, I think...
K: Careful. I am asking a question. He says, you don't want to kill another human being - is that your conviction, is that your religion, do your parents also are religious that way? They ask all these questions, old boy, I am not inventing them.
Q: What’s the point of killing somebody else?
K: What is the point of killing people? They have done this for five thousand years, and more. The Greeks did it, the Egyptians did it, the Sumerians and Babylonians and so on, so on, so on. Great empires were formed that way, killing people. The British empire which lasted a hundred and fifty years, not like the Persian Empire, or the Greek, or the Egyptian; the Egyptian civilization for three thousand years, undisturbed. So, people have been killing each other for the last five thousand years and more. So what's your answer?
Q: Perhaps you just become a soldier. Perhaps you become a soldier, but not the attitude of you doing it for your country, and not with Because if you protest, the very fact that you are protesting, in a sense that becomes your own belief, your fire.
K: So you become a soldier and you are ready to kill.
K: He said so. He said you might become a soldier. That means you are prepared to kill for your country. Right? Wait, wait, wait, go slowly. What's your country, what do you mean, your country? We are questioning everything, you understand? What do you mean, your country?
Q: It’s the American way, this is the way its done.
Q: I mean you don’t go in it patriotically, if you don’t perhaps you will be put in prison.
K: I know. You don't go in patriotically, you don't go in for your personal reasons, but you are going to kill people.
Q: We tend not to, we don’t kill anybody, just carry a gun. (Laughter)
K: Then they kill you. All right. I know a man who became a soldier, he was forced, and the officer said, 'We are going to the front', and the soldier, this friend of mine said, 'All right, but when I get to the front you are the officer, I am going to shoot you first, because you have forced me to that position'. And they said, this man is crazy, and they had psychologists and the psychiatrists who examined, but he kept on repeating that, so they said, 'Get back home'. (Laughter) But don't play tricks like that.
So, you understand, we are questioning - you are not questioning. I am sent, the Indian government - fortunately they can't, I am too old - they questioned me, as in England, and said you must become a soldier, and you must protect your country. I questioned and said, 'What is my country, what do you mean my country?' Right? Question it. Who says it's my country?
Q: Yes but they won’t listen to that.
K: I am questioning myself, forget what the government says.
Q: What do you mean by your country?
K: That's what I am asking you. (Laughter)
Q: The country that you were born in is supposed to be your country.
K: Where you are born.
Q: Yes, that’s supposed to be your country.
K: That is supposed to be your country. Why do I say, it's my country?
Q: Because you’ve lived there and...
K: Yes, and you say it's your country. And I say, it's my country. Right? Why do we say this? Why do grown-up people say this, and the young people say it, and it has been the tradition of thousands of years - it's my country, I am going to protect it; it's your country, you are going to protect it; let's kill each other.
Q: Because they want to possess it, and if that possession is threatened by another country who feel possessive to their country, then you obviously are going to try to fight to possess your country.
K: I know. So you are willing to kill for your
Q: If that other country, Russia, if we had a war and they took over our country
K: May I ask your name?
K: Ah, Tessa! (Laughter) You are not following step by step into this. What is my country? Why have the world the earth has been divided into my country, your country - why?
Q: It’s always that – my book, not your book.
K: No. So go on, question all this, sir, don't... Why? Why have human beings for thousands of years said, this is my country, and that's your country.
Q: Well, you have...
Q: Because it feels
K: Why? Why?
Q: OK. Well, you have dark skin, I have light skin, you speak that language and I speak this language, and there’s a group of people around me who speak the same language and a group of people around you speak your language and look the same as you. That’s your country and I am in my country.
K: Why have we done this?
Q: Well, because you look different. And language.
K: All right. No. Are we different?
Q: No, it’s just they scare you
K: Answer him. I am black
Q: On the surface, yes.
K: you are pink or blue. (Laughter) I'm sorry. I am black and you are pink, or white, or whatever it is. Now, for that reason we fight each other?
Q: Yes, and you believe in that
K: No, no, just begin slowly, sir. Do you kill me and I kill you because I am black and you are fairly near approaching white - why?
K: No, question, sir. Don't answer, question first.
Q: I don’t think so because I think it’s my book and it’s a very precious book, and my friend said, ‘It is my book’, and I kill him for my book.
K: Yes. So
Q: And I think that because he is black and I am white.
K: Quite right. So what do you say? Go on. Why do we do that?
K: Question it, I am questioning you; you are not questioning it yourself.
Q: Is it not a natural response to want to possess something?
K: Yes, that's a natural response. Where does it begin, when does it begin? Careful, question, question, don't accept anything natural and say, 'It is natural', and stick. Question why it is natural.
Q: I don’t think a baby...
K: That's it, begin with the baby. (Laughter) That's quite right, begin with the small baby. You give him a toy and he holds it. Right? And the other baby says and he pulls it away. Right? Haven't you seen this? So there it begins. Mine and yours, and we build this up.
Q: It makes you feel safe, you feel threatened when other people want it, so you’re going to...
K: That's right. So I am saying we build this up gradually as we grow older, this is mine and that is yours. And I am going to hold to mine and you hold to yours. So what does it all mean? Question this. I say it is my country, and you say it's your country. Question why people say that.
Q: Well perhaps through repetition and through education, you see one has...
K: Of course, through education, through history, through propaganda, through everything you come to the point when you are so conditioned you say, 'It's my country and your country'.
Q: Because perhaps...
K: Question. Question first.
Q: Is it not a matter of security?
K: Security. Now, you understand what Mr Smith said: it is a matter of security. I feel secure with my family - right? - my father, my brother, my sister, my aunts, I feel they will protect me, they are part of me - right? - the family. Then increase it: the community - right? - move it still further: the nation. Right? I identify myself first with the family, then with the community, with the society, then with the nation - 'I am British'. Right? That means I feel secure. Right? Right? We agree to that? You are quite sure? I feel secure when I say I am British, and the Frenchman says, 'I am French'. He is completely secure: the language, the custom, the tradition, the intellectual approach and so on and so on - French and English, and the German says the same thing. Right? That is they all want security, all of them. Right? Agree? You are questioning: they all want security.
Q: And they are willing to kill for that.
K: That's it. So each person says this is my security and your security, so we are going to fight. Which means what?
Q: But then your life is threatened, so
K: Yes. So there is no security. Right? Look at it carefully first.
Q: Then your security has been completely psychological security.
K: That's it. That's it.
Q: Nothing having to do with actually what’s happening.
K: That's right. So, now, haven't you leant something, haven't you become intelligent? Right? You see something. That is, I seek security in the nation, you seek security in your nation, and we are going to fight each other to be secure. And the governments exploit us, people exploit us for that reason. So there is no security as long as there are nationalities.
Q: What can we do about it?
K: Darling, wait.
Q: But we insist that there is security in the nation.
K: No, first see by questioning we have come to this point that when we try to seek security in the family, in the community and so on, in the nation, and you also seek in your own way, nation, and they quarrel when they fight each other, kill each other, security is denied to both of us. Right? So in nationalities there is no security.
Q: But how do we actually see that? That there is no security in
K: It is obvious.
Q: Nothing can be done if everybody thinks like that.
K: The vast majority, 99.9 say 'Yes, we must kill each other to be secure'.
Q: But that’s just
Q: OK. If it’s so
K: Not OK. (Laughter)
Q: No. Could I just say something? You know, if it is so obvious why don’t we actually change? I’ve talked to students and staff after these talks, and they are just as confused as ever. If it really is obvious that there is no security in my belief, my country and so on.
K: Wait a minute, my country. It's an illusion, isn't it?
Q: You mean it’s not real.
K: No. It doesn't exist. I want security and you want security and we say security lies in my nation, and you say security lies in your nation, and we are killing each other. Right? The United Nations is like that. Right? So, there is no security in nationalities. Right?
Q: But we see that, but that doesn’t change, it is the same after the talk, the same, it’s my country. I saw it is not a security but it is always here.
Q: He says it doesn’t change after you know it’s your
K: You change. Don't bother about the rest. You become intelligent. We are talking about intelligence. When you see for yourself there is no security in nationalities, that very perception is intelligence. Right?
Q: But he is saying that he has only partially seen it so when he goes out he is still going on with it.
K: Then you haven't seen it. Be as simple as that. If you don't see it, don't say it's partial. It's like examining, a lot of blind people looking at an elephant.
Q: Why do we all say we do see it?
K: Then don't be a nationalist. That's intelligence. Right?
Q: I don’t know what intelligence is.
K: You explain it, somebody explain.
Q: Well, somebody tell me what intelligence is. Someone.
Q: He has already told you last
Q: No. I’ve already heard what he says, now I want to hear what someone in here says.
Q: What, you mean the proper definition or
Q: No, intelligence, what is it for you?
Q: For me? You mean – well I believe what he says. (Laughter)
Q: No, would someone care to explain
Q: I would say it is an action that is not contradictory, somehow intelligence has to be whole, it cannot be fragmented, not that you say something and then you do something completely opposite.
Q: But do you actually live that way?
Q: So it’s just a bunch of words.
Q: But again, don’t make it so complicated because Krishnaji is just taking one thing and he is talking about nationalism, and he says if you drop nationalism you are beginning to be intelligent, that’s the beginning of intelligence.
Q: Yes, but we always talk about this intelligence, we all want to live intelligently but we never do. You know, we leave this room
K: It's up to you.
Q: We do that.
Q: Do we really? Do you?
Q: Are you doing this?
Q: No, I’m not.
Q: From now on do that.
Q: It’s clear that everyone here knows a bit of what is going on, and is a bit intelligent, I think, and still you see the mess here in the school. I mean it’s nice to be here, but still, exactly the same problems are here as everywhere else in the world.
Q: You can understand it but it’s hard to actually do it.
K: You understand, I have lived in India, and I believe, I am convinced my security is in India, and you are convinced in Pakistan next door, that your security lies in Pakistan, and we fight each other for our security. Right? Kill each other. You have no security when you kill me, and I have no security when I kill you. It is so obvious. Right? What are we This is intelligence.
Q: But still, you know, there is this block. I don’t actually see it.
Q: Ken, are you nationalistic? Or are you talking about the subtler issues that we
Q: Perhaps, I don’t know. I can see it on the surface, yes, to believe in nationalism, there is no security in it, but...
K: All right, let's leave nationalism.
Q: But there is still something, I feel I must feel something to actually see this. You know what I mean?
K: Oh yes, I understand what you mean. People feel very patriotic, don't they? When this country is attacked, or went to war in the Falklands, people were tremendously excited, very patriotic. And for that reason go and kill somebody.
K: Let's take another thing, perhaps that will explain it.
Q: But if he can’t see that one, is he going to see? If he can’t see that as intelligence, what can he see? (Laughter)
K: She is insulting you! (Laughter)
Q: I don’t mean to.
K: She says, if you can't see that what the hell can you see! So let's take something else. We are questioning authority. In Christianity - I am not condemning Christianity, I am just examining it - in Christianity belief and faith are essential. Right? Why have they made belief and faith so important?
Q: Well, according to the Christian belief, I’ll live eternally after I die.
K: Yes, what does that mean - questioning. What does that mean?
Q: It is another kind of security.
K: Yes. You see? Right? If I believe in Jesus, if I believe in the Virgin Mary, if I believe, have complete faith, I feel safe. Right? And the Indian, five thousand years, says, I believe not in Jesus, but I believe in my own god. You come along and say what nonsense this is. It is just a belief. You can invent any belief and find security in that. Right? So is there security in belief?
K: Right? Why do you say no?
Q: Well, because if you...
K: Why do you say no? Question why do you say no.
Q: Because if you believe that, and I believe this, we meet – there is no security because we will blow each other into smithereens.
K: It is the same thing with nationalities. Right? That's all. So, understand now, a vast majority of the Western world accept this, belief and faith, in all their church and all that, they believe that very strongly. Which means what? They create an illusion, an image, and believe in that. Which means they are living in illusion. And illusion gives them strength. They feel safe in illusions. Right? Now have I got illusions? Have you got illusions?
K: Wait, question it.
Q: No, I’ve read that most of our thoughts are controlled by the subconscious, that which we are unaware of.
K: We will come to that, old boy, presently. I am asking you, do you - I have asked that question, answer it - do you have beliefs so strongly which give you comfort, feel, my god, at last I have found something that gives me satisfaction. That means, are you living in illusions? Right? Have you got illusions?
K: Question why.
Q: If you think I am a good student, and you think I am a good student, but then you see another person who is a better student, or who perhaps is a bit quicker than you, and you get jealous.
K: Yes, go on.
Q: And so you definitely – if you try to get away from the jealousy by suppressing it, it doesn’t work.
K: No. I am asking you, old boy - if I may call you old boy - I am asking you, have you got any illusions.
K: Right? Question why you have.
K: Question. Question. First realise, first become aware that you have illusions. Right? I have illusions of my country, I have illusions that I am a Christian, I worship and all the rest of it. That's an illusion. And have you any other kind of illusions?
Q: We all have ideas or illusions of what it is to be orderly.
K: Go on. So are ideas illusions? Go on, sir, question. Are ideals illusions?
Q: Yes, because they never deal with what is happening right now.
K: That's right.
Q: It’s always something you want to be, as compared to something.
K: So ideals, ideas - right? - and your beliefs are illusions. Why do you have them?
Q: Because you are insecure.
K: Yes. So you have found security in illusions.
Q: Everyone thinks.
K: That's what I am saying, everybody thinks, but I am asking you.
Q: He has something too and sometimes I think.
K: Not sometimes, now. I am asking you now, have you got illusions of such kind in which you are living with which you are living? Now, please understand why we are questioning. We are questioning all these things by understanding them, realizing their nature and becoming intelligent. If a man lives in kind of false illusions he is not intelligent. Right? So we are trying to find out what is supreme intelligence. Supreme intelligence is to have no illusions. That's only the beginning of it. Right? Have you got illusions?
Q: Well I have made an illusion of perhaps intelligence, you know. I think that if I find out what intelligence is I will be completely by myself.
K: Oh no. I might join you. (Laughter)
Q: You know, and that scares the hell out of me.
K: I might join you. All of us might join you, and say, 'By Jove what an intelligent man, let's find out how he got this intelligent'. So do you, all of us in this room, do you have illusions?
Q: Aren’t your words illusions for us?
Q: That depends on you.
Q: Isn’t what you say illusion for us?
K: If you accept it. (Laughs) But if you begin to question your illusions, not my illusions.
Q: You don’t talk about stopping your illusions or suppressing them, just questioning them.
K: Yes. If you suppress them they will pop up again. (Laughter) Like Kleenex!
Q: Sir OK, go ahead.
Q: If No. (Laughter)
K: Ladies first.
Q: Isn’t it true also that many of our illusions breed from our conditioning?
Q: And what I wonder is that – OK, this is just for myself only, that I’ve grown up with an exposure to what you have been saying since I’ve been a baby.
K: So, wait a minute, as you said, do not all these illusions indicate our conditioning.
K: Now, question your conditioning now.
Q: Well I think...
K: First look at it carefully. What's your conditioning?
Q: I haven’t had that religious or political conditioning.
K: No, you may not have religious or political conditioning, but you are conditioned. Right? Question that. What do you mean by conditioning? Are you conditioned?
Q: Conditioned by my own experience even. Maybe not even anything
K: That's right. Then you begin to question your experience.
Q: I am trying. (Laughs) It’s so difficult to separate it.
K: No. By questioning, not saying I am right, I am wrong - right? - by enquiring, exploring, your mind which has become dull through conditioning begins to quicken - not quicken, it becomes more alive. Now, will you all do this? You are here at Brockwood not only to be academically excellent but also psychologically supremely intelligent. Right?
Q: That’s an illusion. (Laughter)
K: What's that?
Q: It’s an illusion, because it can hurt
K: No, no, no. Just listen. Is it an illusion that you have to be academically good?
Q: If you work hard enough you can be academically good.
K: You can be excellent academically, can't you? By studying.
Q: Yes, but...
K: Wait, wait. Right? Studying, applying, paying attention to your beastly little books.
Q: Yes, but some of it’s interesting so what’s bad about that? Some of it’s interesting. Some of the work that you do is interesting.
K: Yes, you have to be, because if you are excellent academically you may get a good job. Money. You have to earn money. Now psychologically, can't you be supremely excellent? Which means you live intelligently, therefore there is never conflict and so on. I won't go into all that.
Q: So we have to think about everything we do, I mean all our reactions.
K: Yes. You have to watch what you think, why you think, why you have such emotions, why you separate yourself from, and so on. You become aware, you become sensitive, alive.
Q: We try.
Q: Yes, I think most people in this room have actually tried it, but after a period of time we forget about it.
K: Can you forget hunger?
Q: No. But we become aware of...
K: No, don't go off. Can you forget danger?
Q: No. But that’s all the result of the intelligence of the body.
K: Look at it old boy, just wait a minute. Can you forget danger?
K: Sir, why? Why don't you forget it? Question it. I am questioning you, and you're answering.
Q: I don’t want to die. If you are pointing a gun at me
K: Please, you know what danger is.
K: Do you forget it?
K: Why not?
Q: I think you do.
Q: OK, physical danger I don’t forget.
K: You won't. Is not nationalism danger?
K: So you say, 'I am not a nationalist, I don't belong to any country'. That's a danger. Why do you forget it? You can't.
Q: But I do. I do.
K: You do?
Q: (Inaudible) This is all very difficult.
K: No, no. You see you are not questioning, you are saying something without - I am asking you to question everything you do, think, ask.
Q: Well perhaps that is not possible with the modern condition.
K: That's an excuse. You can question it.
Q: Sir, it seems the past year I have been really questioning everything I think. And sometimes I feel I am just going in circles, just going within my...
K: Of course. But you are not questioning thinking.
Q: Well, I am questioning that right now. (Laughs) I am questioning that it seems within our intellect we try to become more aware of our thoughts, and it’s like our thoughts are aware of our thoughts and it’s like
K: Yes, quite right. But, you don't Look, I begin to question nationalism. Right? Then I come to the point I question my thinking - thinking itself.
Q: So it’s like the intellect is only an instrument, and it’s like it becomes sharper and sharper, to a certain point it just becomes – there’s nothing more you can do with it.
K: It becomes sharper and sharper, therefore at the end of it, it becomes dull.
K: Have you understood what I said? The more you sharpen an instrument it gradually wears off and becomes dull. Right? A chisel, keep on polishing, polishing and using it, it becomes dull. So question why your mind is becoming dull by merely going round and round.
Q: Because it is all thought, it’s just...
K: No, you are not questioning it. I get depressed - suppose I do, I don't, I have no depression, I never have been depressed - suppose I am depressed. I say, 'Yes, I am very depressed'. I accept it. I don't say, 'Now, why am I depressed?' Is it I am thinking about myself? Is it I can't get what I want? Is it somebody is better than me? Somebody is more beautiful than me? Somebody is more rich, and so on, so on - is that the reason why I am depressed? Right? If I am, then I say, 'Why am I doing this?' You follow? Move. Right, sir? Are you doing it?
Q: Sir, I think there must be a result or a decision from this very questioning. So shall we go on questioning... (inaudible)
K: I don't quite understand.
Q: He says the questioning brings about a result. Should we question the result as well?
K: Of course.
Q: But then when we react
K: You stop questioning only when there is nothing more to question. (Laughter) That's not a clever statement, but see what happens. Tat when you begin to question seriously, step by step, then there is a point where there is only that state of mind that has no problems at all. I won't go into all this. But you don't start! You want to reach the end at the beginning.
Q: Sir, do you say then that if you are depressed, question it, or just be aware of it? If you are depressed are you saying we should question it, or just be aware of it?
K: Yes, I am depressed, I'll show it to you. I want to know why I am depressed. I don't say, 'Yes, I am depressed'. I say, 'Why am I depressed?' Is it I have eaten wrongly? I have not slept properly? Or I am depressed because I can't get what I want, or I can't - I am not as good as you, or I am not as clever as you. Right? Which means I am always comparing. Why do I compare? Is it possible not to compare? See, I am questioning all this. Can I live without comparison?
Q: If we ask continually why, can’t that process just reinforce that whole ego thing that we are trying to question?
K: Of course. That's why I am saying it must be done with intelligence. So you begin with the most ordinary things.
Q: And that intelligence we don’t have. We try to get intelligence and we have to use our intelligence to get the intelligence.
Q: Yes, exactly. (Laughs) That’s the problem Q: It’s like, what intelligence are you talking about? I mean the description of intelligence we understand is that intelligence is not limited by thought or experience.
Q: So how can I use the intelligence I have right now that is limited by thought and experience? I mean it seems so...
K: No. Have you got intelligence now?
Q: I think I do sometimes, yes.
K: Not sometimes.
Q: I can’t say that I do.
K: You see, you make Now why don't you question that? Have you got intelligence now?
Q: I don’t think I do, no. No.
K: No. So begin.
Q: Not the intelligence that I want to have.
K: So begin. Are you nationalistic, are you seeking safety in your little family, seeking security in your ideas? Sir, I am doing all the questioning, you're not.
Q: What if you seek security in some things but not in others? K: Yes. So what do you seek security in? In your looks? In your family? In some god? In some illusion? You see, I am doing (laughs) Sir, what I am pointing out very simply is most of us are so conditioned – right? – that we become very dull. We repeat what somebody has said, or we read a great deal and be very knowledgeable, but you may be stupid. So I say, find out for yourself what is intelligence. And you can find out that by asking, questioning, doubting. You can’t doubt everything: there is electricity, that light is there, you can’t doubt it. Right? The tree, you can’t doubt it, it is there. Right? The governments are there, the policeman is there, all the churches, all the things in the churches are there. So you begin to question.
Q: Your anxiety is there.
K: Yes, or the scientists.
Q: He said, your anxiety.
K: Anxiety. All right. Question anxiety. Why are you anxious? The majority of people are anxious. Right? Because they have no money, or they are anxious their husband may be looking at somebody else. Right? Anxiety. Are you anxious, any of you? You are anxious?
Q: Sometimes, yes.
Q: Because of different things.
K: Tell me one.
Q: Isn’t it that the desperateness for security is very forceful, that the atmosphere of questioning is not there, that’s why...
K: Tunki, I can't hear you.
Q: What he says is that the desperate search for security prevents actual questioning.
K: Yes, sir.
Q: So how can questioning...
K: Now just a minute, Tunki, when I am very anxious I can't question. Right? But then I begin there must be - I am not anxious all the time. There is anxiety when I wake up, and as I take my coffee or tea, whatever it is, that anxiety recedes a little bit, then I begin to question.
Q: In this questioning of why, would it not be important to question without trying to find an answer. It seems that if we try to find an answer we just give ourselves excuses for what we are.
K: Of course. When you question and find an answer, question that answer. (Laughs) You follow, sir? Learn the art. It's not just that you begin to question everything; learn the art of questioning. You stop questioning sometimes and say, 'Yes, by Jove, why am I questioning?' Look without questioning. You follow? Learn about it.
Q: Do people become discouraged with their questioning because they don’t get something from it?
K: Yes, sir. They get discouraged, disappointed, hurt.
Q: Because they want something that will give them security.
K: Yes. Or, I have been secure and you're taking it away from me - I become anxious. What I am Sir - just two minutes, just listen. Will you?
I saw that ticket, that sticker on that bumper in California, and I said, I wonder if the gentleman, or the person who put that sticker on the bumper really questions, or it's just a slogan. You understand what I am saying? It is just a slogan, but he never questions, says, 'Why am I doing this? Why am I thinking this? Why do I believe?' So, questioning is a great art. Right? It isn't that I question, I move, I see the subtleties of it. Right? See the depth of it. And the beauty of enquiry, see bit by bit how extraordinarily complex this thing is. Why man has lived in illusions for thousands of years, if it is not Christian gods then there is Muslim gods. Right? If it isn't that, there have been gods by the thousand for the last five thousand years and more. Some like the Buddhists deny god, but there is always this search, longing for something beyond all this misery. Right? All this conflict, all this ugliness in the world. So they invent something and they worship it. You understand?
Q: Like enlightenment.
K: Yes, quite right. Enlightenment is not something you experience or something that somebody gives you. That's all such nonsense. So, as I was saying, sir, find out the art of questioning. Learn a great deal about it. You spend a great deal of time, don't you, in mathematics, learning mathematics. Right? Or geography, history, whatever it is, and you don't give even ten minutes to this. And so you become excellent in one direction and dull in the other direction.
What time is it?
Q: One o’clock.
K: I think we had better stop, don't you. No? (Laughs)
Would you like to try something?
K: Sit very quietly - just a minute, just a minute - before you sit. Sit very quietly, absolutely quiet, with your eyes closed and find out what you are thinking. And why you are thinking that particular thought, or a series of thoughts. Try it. (Pause) And find out if your brain can be so quiet, without a single thought. (Pause) Don't go to sleep though.
Shall we get up?